Glenrothes: Riverside and Woods

A lovely walk starting and finishing at Glenrothes Riverside Park. The walk is alongside rivers, through woodland and other green spaces. The walker will experience a totally different side to Glenrothes from the concrete and roundabouts that are the motorist’s view of the town.

There are many waymarked trails through the park created by the Friends of Riverside Park. This walk links a number of them together. However, the full walk is not waymarked. Further information about the waymarked trails can be downloaded from the FORP website. This is only a suggested walk and many other options are possible.

Distance: 4.6 miles / 7.4 km

Ascent: 380 feet / 130 m

Terrain: Paths and tracks (mix of surfaced and unsurfaced), some sections can be a bit muddy.

Start / finish: Glenrothes Riverside Park, Leslie Road, KY6 3EP.

There are two car parks for the Riverside Park. Either of them could be used for this walk. The description below starts from the main car park on Leslie Road.

From the car park walk down to the wildlife pool and follow the path along its northern side (don’t cross over the river at the bridge). This section of the walk is using the Dipper Way (dark blue) waymarked trail. Look out for dippers and other wildlife alongside the river. Cross over the river at a bridge and turn left to walk along the opposite bank of the river with a play area on the right. There is a totem pole (one of a number of totems in the park created by local school children) in the play park and the “UFOs”.

After the play area turn right onto the, yellow, Daffodil Avenue and, red, Riverside Walk. Walk alongside the River Leven towards the obvious road bridge. After passing under the suspension bridge there is a footbridge across the river. Cross over and turn immediately right opposite a marker post for the Bat Box walk.

This section of path (part of the blue, Leslie Walk) is unsurfaced but it is a pleasant walk along the river bank. When the path leaves the river it starts to climb uphill to meet with another path. Turn left onto this path which has a smoother surface than the previous one. This path is high above the river and in the winter when there are no leaves on the trees there are good views across the river to the ruin of Leslie House. Keep left at the next junction heading back towards the suspension bridge.

This loop along the Leslie Walk can be missed out by simply turning left back under the suspension bridge after crossing the river.

Pass under the bridge again and follow the lovely walk along the southern bank of the river: the red, Riverside Walk. Keep straight on at a junction, on to the orange Mosaic Walk, passing a wildlife garden. Head for the underpass under the main road where a mosaic adorns the side of the underpass.

Once on the other side of the road, go left across a footbridge and turn right at the second lamp post onto a woodland path. Stay on the main woodland path through the trees until an orange way marker arrow is reached. Go left at this point leaving the orange waymarked route.

An alternative to the orange route through the woods, is to stay on the south side of the river after the underpass and walk through the parkland to cross at the next bridge. This route has the advantage of passing a watering hole for some of Glenrothes’ more exotic wildlife: the hippos (there are more hippos further down the river as well). Cross the river and follow the surfaced path into the woods.

Keep to the main tarmac path, (the pink Hippo Parade), ignoring side paths into the houses. At a signpost without a sign, go left and keep to the main path to reach a wide path (which looks as though it should be a road), again turning left.

Cross over the road and go left for a short distance before turning right into parkland opposite the hospital. Follow the path over the grass and through an underpass keeping right at the first Y junction. The next section through the woods can be omitted by turning left at this junction and rejoining the route at a cycle track.

Go left down a few steps into the woodland where the path passes a play area. After the houses the paths may become a bit muddy. At this point turn sharp left and go slightly uphill into the trees. The path now runs along the top of an embankment for a while. On leaving the embankment keep right (straight on) towards a road. Before reaching the road, turn right and right again on to a surfaced path. The short cut mentioned above rejoins the route at this point. The path heads out of the woods where the route turns right onto an old section of road now used as a cycle path.

To avoid the main road, leave the cycle track through a gap in the wall on the right. Follow the path with houses to the right and trees to the left.  Go left on Holyrood Avenue for a short distance to reach a path at its termination. At the end of this path turn right on to Whinnyknowe passing Granton Court. Go left on to the path opposite the bus stop, and follow the road round to the left to reach house nos 37 and 39. Turn left onto the surfaced path/track between these houses, left again, and then right on to a path beside a river.

The path (the purple Forest Explorer walk) passes under a road bridge, where there are some small waterfalls, and back into Riverside Park. Keep alongside the river on the purple trail to reach a T junction. Go left away from the river and then immediately right onto a path which is part of the yellow route. This unsurfaced (and uneven in places) path returns to the river. Keep left at a T junction to go under a road bridge.

The yellow route now heads back to the car park but it is worth a diversion to the arboretum on the left before using the green A-MAZing Lime Trees path back to the car park.

Route map for Riverside Park walk
Route map: colours reelect FORP waymarking where appropriate

View / download this walk from Ordnance Survey.

View / download this walk from Viewranger.

Additional photographs can be viewed on Facebook.


© 2017 – 2021 Fife Walking. All rights reserved. If using this route for a group or organised walk please credit Fife Walking as your source of information.